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Has Hollywood Stopped Trying? The Smurfs vs. Mr. Popper's Penguins

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood June 16, 2011 at 8:21AM

It's Thursday and another fun-filled summer weekend at the movies is looming. There's good news in the Hollywood forecast: Jurassic Park may be rebooted, Jon Hamm and Melissa McCarthy may star together in a comedy, Angelina Jolie and David O. Russell may pair for Maleficent and the Coens are doing a musical. But check out this more sobering look at how Hollywood has stopped trying.
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Thompson on Hollywood


It's Thursday and another fun-filled summer weekend at the movies is looming. There's good news in the Hollywood forecast: Jurassic Park may be rebooted, Jon Hamm and Melissa McCarthy may star together in a comedy, Angelina Jolie and David O. Russell may pair for Maleficent and the Coens are doing a musical. But check out this more sobering look at how Hollywood has stopped trying.

CHUD compares Mr. Popper's Penguins (June 17) to The Smurfs (July 29), both of which we included in our list of the Summer's Nine Worst Movie Trailers (trailers below). Not only does each one look bad on its own, but shot for shot they "appear to be the exact same movie." Check out CHUD's play-by-play of the imagined film studio meeting in which a writer pitches execs the idea for both of films---at the same time.

We have one word for you both, Jim Carrey and Neil Patrick Harris: Why? You're probably asking yourselves the same thing.

This article is related to: Box Office, Genres, Headliners, Hollywood, Studios, Video, Media, Summer, comedy, Animation, Trailers


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.